As any first-time novelist will tell you, one of the questions you hear most when you contact libraries and bookstores to let them know about your novel is “are you a local author?” It’s a question that, whilst I can understand it, I’ve always found somewhat… well, “out of touch” is the best I can do, this time of the morning. In some cases, yes, I suppose I can most definitely be considered “a local author” – in the purest, geographical sense. But, by and large, I no longer think in these terms (unless, of course, it can make the difference between libraries/bookstores buying in or not!)
This became, once again, even more apparent a few days ago. I was, as I so often I am, outlining my next novel and “farting around on Twitter”. The messages were coming thick and fast but, in amongst them all, I spotted one that particularly caught my attention. It wasn’t all that unusual, really. I get similar tweets quite often, now. But for some reason, it really hit home this time just how irrelevant the term “local author” has become.
The tweet in question was from a kind follower who had just bought her copy of If I Never – and as I quickly spotted, she was from North Hollywood. Which, really, couldn’t be more removed from my little corner of the world (though my hills are rather striking today, in their own snowcapped way).
It can become rather too commonplace. It’s easy to become blasé about it. But the reality is that my little book, published by a relatively small independent UK publisher, is currently being read all over the world – in Canada, the US, the Philippines, Australia and, quite possibly, many places of which I’m unaware. The global market is – naturally – huge, and had I not built an Internet presence that allowed me to tap into that, I doubt I would have sold anywhere near the number of units I have.
But more than that, it’s immensely satisfying. As well as being read all over the UK (many copies in numerous libraries constantly out on loan), If I Never is visiting places I possibly never will, is making a home there and talking to people who, to me, will always remain strangers.
If that isn’t a good reason to keep writing, I don’t know what is.
Two sample chapters of If I Never can be read here.
To buy your copy of If I Never, please click here.
© 2010 Gary William Murning